An outstanding second half from Sheffield Sharks put them in total control over their play-offs quarter-final tie with London Lions.
Sheffield beat London comfortably 94-70 to open up a comfortable aggregate lead going into Sunday’s second leg.
In a game that started scrappy and tight, Sheffield were able to raise their play and pull away from their opponents as the game progressed.
Coach Atiba Lyons said after the game: “We did our jobs tonight and played well. We left it all on the court.
“However we know the job isn’t done and we need to continue this on Sunday.”
Jerrold Brooks was awarded MVP with 31 points, six assists and three rebounds. Mike Tuck and TJ Robinson also scored 19 points each.
Nerves were evident early on as both teams committed mistakes. However there was no lack of effort.
Sheffield began to control the tempo as Brooks started to dictate the play. TJ Robinson scored Sheffield’s first seven points of the second quarter and Brooks also contributed six points and two assists.
Mid-way through the second quarter the game was all squared at 33-33. However a 7-0 run to end the half and another 8-0 run to start the third quarter gave Sheffield a 55-41 lead.
Sheffield still held a 72-54 lead at the end of the third quarter despite giving up a buzzer-beater three by Nick Lewis.
The result of the match was all but certain by the beginning of the fourth. However the impetus was still on Sheffield with a decisive second leg to come.
Coach Atiba Lyons urged his players on as they began to really punish London. A Kyle Odister corner three helped Sheffield enter the second leg with a commanding lead.